Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, affects many people each year. A type of depression, SAD is most often associated with the winter season; when the days are shorter and there is less natural light available. People who suffer this condition report a wide range of symptoms, including concentration, sleep and appetite issues, moodiness and reduced energy levels:
The Effects of SAD
Left untreated, SAD can even cause sufferers to experience suicidal thoughts, so it is important to seek medical care if you or a family member experience symptoms of this nature. In addition to medical care, however, taking some simple steps to increase the natural light in your home environment can also be helpful.
Maximize Natural Light Sources
Most people who live in cold climates tend to withdraw a bit during the winter as the temperatures force them to spend more time indoors. While this may help with staying warm, it also means missing out on exposure to natural light that can help to offset SAD. If this is a problem for your family, try some of the following suggestions to add more natural light to the interior of your home.
Open Draperies During the Day
Winter weather creates a cocooning effect that causes many people to draw the drapes and leave them closed for days at a time. Instead, make it part of your morning ritual to open draperies, curtains and blinds as soon as you arise for an instant mood brightener. If drafts are a concern, consider having older windows replaced with insulated ones that will block cold air even when drapes are open.
Place Mirrors Where They Can Catch & Reflect Natural Light Sources
The use of mirrors is a great way to double the natural light in your home and help improve your mood. To choose the best location, walk through each room of the home during the day when the drapes are open and look to see where the light from the window is striking nearby walls. Then hang large mirrors or a collection of smaller ones, or even mirrored tiles in these locations to catch incoming rays of light and reflect it throughout the room.
Change Out Doors That Block Natural Light
To boost the amount of natural light in a big way, consider replacing some of the solid exterior doors in your home with French patio doors. Door openings are often at least two times larger than window openings and their increased height allows them to channel natural light into the home for longer periods each day, as opposed to shorter window openings.
To learn more, contact a company like Fas Windows and Doors with any questions you have.